The Fifty Shades brand has gained total acceptability throughout popular culture, despite the storyline romanticising stalking, manipulation, threats, unwanted control, isolation and coercion. The storyline gives out the dangerous message that abusive behaviour is somehow acceptable as long as the abuser had a tragic childhood they can use as an excuse. It also perpetuates the dangerous lie that the love of the right person can somehow magically "fix" an abusive person. The books dangerously misrepresent BDSM and give the impression that the BDSM lifestyle stems from an abused childhood and needs to be "cured."
Although many insist that Fifty Shades is a mere fantasy, the kind of abuse romanticised within the trilogy is a reality for many. The reality is anything but romantic. Besides this, Fifty Shades has gone far beyond the realm of being "just a book." There is a film. There is a massive line of merchandise. There is even a dating site, encouraging women to "find your own Christian Grey." When the book is promoting abusive behaviour as romance, we have a duty to speak out about the reality of life with a man like Christian.
As campaigners, workers, women who have experienced domestic abuse and those working to prevent violence against women, we stand up to say these books are not erotic fiction, but depict the reality of domestic abuse. Referring to the series as harmless erotic fiction gives it credibility that it does not deserve. These books portray emotional, sexual, physical and psychological violence and abuse as not only normal, but as something to aspire to. As people committed to the eradication of violence against women, we reject the normalising of abuse these books are perpetuating and we call you to join us in fighting back!
You can download a book cover here which you can print and place in the shops where you find them. Please take pictures/videos of books you have covered and post them on twitter and/or facebook and email them to us and we will upload them to our website photo album.
With the film due for release very soon, you can also download the following resources to begin discussions with people and also to campaign against the film:
POSTER: Download HERE
POSTCARD: Download HERE
FAQ LEAFLET: Download HERE
We are organising a protest at the premiere on 12th February, find out how to get involved HERE.